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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 15:40 
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Joined: 09 Oct 2011, 00:13
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Location: North east Saskatchewan, Canada
Sorry, I do not mean to be tearing up the airwaves on here, but every time I turn around and set a trap, I think of more questions...

How much do your footprints in the snow matter in deep snow? I mean, I made a couple more sets yesterday near an old dirt road. The one set I made a kind of bank set on the edge of the road, so not many tracks other that the truck tires. Easy to check too!

But the other, I hiked 50-60 yards off the road, and set up a flat/dug up straw set. I made a heck of a trail to the set through the snow. I brushed it to the extent I could, but it still bugs me. How do you treat your tracks in the deep snow, or am I over thinking this?

The trail I made sticks out like a beacon, and even with a bit more fresh snow, it is very visible. The yotes travel this road, maybe they will use my trail to access the set? I dunno.

Set my mind at ease, would y'all? lol


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 18:08 
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You are going to get two trains of thought on this so i doubt our post will help much. One thought is it does harm the other is it doesnt. So where does that leave you? The only way to know how they are going to react to your tracks is to see it. I think in deep snow they are likely to follow your path so long as its in the direction they are wanting to travel to begin with. If its not, they probably wont. I think we as humans tend to over think that a little. A coyote has no idea what laid a track taken in visually. The scent associated around the area can alarm them if its fresh. I dont see animals being able to identify track visually or they would be able to use that to track down dinner every time. Think about it not as we think but rather how animals react. They dont have that kind of capacity in the brain to identify every track made, including ours. They may be leery of something new in the area....but you are going to get that no matter what you do. In a day or two they will go right down your path if they need to go that way. I have yotes follow my snow trails every year....but i also see them cross it from the side. It all depends on if you are going their way or not.

This same question was asked a couple years ago by a back then new-ish trapper/snareman. I told him basically the same thing I told you. He set snares up traveling where he knew coyotes would or should travel, setting snares right in his path behind him as he went. He set a bunch. The next day it started....Day after day he tore them up.. He made catch after catch on nice yotes bringing in a very impressive haul to say the least. At that time it was all he was doing....and smashed the dogs. But out of respect for some very excellent trappers that think the reverse, they have seen the opposite happen.

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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 19:05 
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Joined: 09 Oct 2011, 00:13
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Location: North east Saskatchewan, Canada
Wow, thanks Amak. That helped me feel better. I think along the same lines, but when I read stuff, some authors seem really paranoid about footprints. Like everything else, there are many opinions out there, hey? I was actually planning on doing the same thing you mentioned with snares. I mentioned it last year when I was gearing up to do some snaring which never did happen. Coyotes from my experience are lazy/take the easy way of travel. We are just getting enough snow that I am really wishing I had a snow mobile to make tracks for the yotes. Also, punching holes through cat tails and creating pinch points...

If yotes avoided human tracks, they would be a super critter impossible to catch. But they are catchable. I feel in my gut, they do not care visually either...

Thanks for your input...


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 20:55 
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flattail wrote:
Coyotes from my experience are lazy/take the easy way of travel.

I used to think that same thing. Never again. I have followed them for long distance in the snow and have found it simply is not true. No disrespect meant here. They have no problem in the least bit taking the hardest route, thickest and the longest way around. They are like a cat in more ways than one may think. Craig O'Gorman was right with his teachings. Especially when they are hungry and in hunt mode. Cat trap for yotes in the hard of the winter. I have learned much more than this by following them in the snow. It has made me scratch my head and rethinking for next years set up to catch even more yotes. Have also learned how they hunt when packing. Oh boy.......................I am so fired up for next season to get here! :shock: :wink:

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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 21:10 
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Location: North east Saskatchewan, Canada
I dunno. I am talking 3 feet of soft powder snow. I rarely see tracks in the loose stuff, but I do see it on hard packed drifts, on lakes blown clear of snow, on old roads, but especially on snowmobile trails and deer trails. And this is 3 feet of snow for 4 or so months, not for a week or three... That is more what I am talking about here.


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 21:22 
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flattail wrote:
I dunno. I am talking 3 feet of soft powder snow. I rarely see tracks in the loose stuff, but I do see it on hard packed drifts, on lakes blown clear of snow, on old roads, but especially on snowmobile trails and deer trails. And this is 3 feet of snow for 4 or so months, not for a week or three... That is more what I am talking about here.

My bad! :oops: I forgot you are from Canada. Yep, a little different for sure. :lol:

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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 21:39 
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Location: North east Saskatchewan, Canada
Richard Murray wrote:
flattail wrote:
I dunno. I am talking 3 feet of soft powder snow. I rarely see tracks in the loose stuff, but I do see it on hard packed drifts, on lakes blown clear of snow, on old roads, but especially on snowmobile trails and deer trails. And this is 3 feet of snow for 4 or so months, not for a week or three... That is more what I am talking about here.

My bad! :oops: I forgot you are from Canada. Yep, a little different for sure. :lol:


No worries, I know what you are saying too though. I have tracked the beggars where from the outside looking in, a rabbit couldn't go.

Actually when this time of year comes, I always wonder how the wildlife makes it through. Resilient animals indeed.


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 22:08 
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Joined: 31 Dec 2014, 15:14
Posts: 29
Location: Montana
Richard Murray wrote:
flattail wrote:
Coyotes from my experience are lazy/take the easy way of travel.

I used to think that same thing. Never again. I have followed them for long distance in the snow and have found it simply is not true. No disrespect meant here. They have no problem in the least bit taking the hardest route, thickest and the longest way around. They are like a cat in more ways than one may think. Craig O'Gorman was right with his teachings. Especially when they are hungry and in hunt mode. Cat trap for yotes in the hard of the winter. I have learned much more than this by following them in the snow. It has made me scratch my head and rethinking for next years set up to catch even more yotes. Have also learned how they hunt when packing. Oh boy.......................I am so fired up for next season to get here! :shock: :wink:


This is a excellent answer, and observation.. Let any animal teach you, and what I mean by this is follow his tracks, not for 50 yards or 100. Follow them for a mile it is amazing what they do and where they go.. Now I know if you wanna catch numbers you can't be walking miles apron miles to check sets.. But that is not what iam trying to explain.. The way to catch more is to figure out Locations! And this is part of pre season scouting, which should start when your season ends..
Flat tail I never trapped in the depths of snow you are talking about, but I would see them in time wanting to use your skidoo trail for any easy route.. I would make some sets right off your trail and see how it goes, if you are worried about your tracks, you could then sit on your machine and brush them away..


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 22:22 
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Joined: 09 Oct 2011, 00:13
Posts: 102
Location: North east Saskatchewan, Canada
Chasingyotes wrote:
Richard Murray wrote:
flattail wrote:
Coyotes from my experience are lazy/take the easy way of travel.

I used to think that same thing. Never again. I have followed them for long distance in the snow and have found it simply is not true. No disrespect meant here. They have no problem in the least bit taking the hardest route, thickest and the longest way around. They are like a cat in more ways than one may think. Craig O'Gorman was right with his teachings. Especially when they are hungry and in hunt mode. Cat trap for yotes in the hard of the winter. I have learned much more than this by following them in the snow. It has made me scratch my head and rethinking for next years set up to catch even more yotes. Have also learned how they hunt when packing. Oh boy.......................I am so fired up for next season to get here! :shock: :wink:


This is a excellent answer, and observation.. Let any animal teach you, and what I mean by this is follow his tracks, not for 50 yards or 100. Follow them for a mile it is amazing what they do and where they go.. Now I know if you wanna catch numbers you can't be walking miles apron miles to check sets.. But that is not what iam trying to explain.. The way to catch more is to figure out Locations! And this is part of pre season scouting, which should start when your season ends..
Flat tail I never trapped in the depths of snow you are talking about, but I would see them in time wanting to use your skidoo trail for any easy route.. I would make some sets right off your trail and see how it goes, if you are worried about your tracks, you could then sit on your machine and brush them away..


Currently I am setting areas where the snow is not too deep, and areas near old roads and pastures etc... The yotes use these areas more. Thing is though, at some point, they DO have to head off across the depths to get to hunting grounds. I rarely see those tracks though, but I know it has to occur, or they would simply not get from point a to point b. If they only hung out in packed areas or only followed roads and such, they would probably starve. I agree about scouting, and once one has hunted and worked over an area, you sure get to know it well. There are some areas that will never see a yote in ten years, unless a deer or moose dies there, or a big bait is set out. But there are those areas where they appear daily, or at least a couple times a week. On my farm there are several areas of both. I like those areas... :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 22:28 
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Joined: 31 Dec 2014, 15:14
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Location: Montana
I agree they have to be crossing some where.. Is the snow hard, that they could be just walking on top and not really leaving a obvious track??


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 22:33 
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Location: North east Saskatchewan, Canada
Chasingyotes wrote:
I agree they have to be crossing some where.. Is the snow hard, that they could be just walking on top and not really leaving a obvious track??


Not yet. But it has been windy. I am feeling good about it. Wind blown snow gets rock hard, and allows the critters to travel again, so it gets far less critical where you set for them. Right now in the deep powder, it is tough to walk... Bad thing about the wind, is my access gets limited with big ole drifts everywhere...


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 22:37 
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Joined: 09 Nov 2010, 11:58
Posts: 1302
Location: Kansas
Chasingyotes wrote:
Richard Murray wrote:
flattail wrote:
Coyotes from my experience are lazy/take the easy way of travel.

I used to think that same thing. Never again. I have followed them for long distance in the snow and have found it simply is not true. No disrespect meant here. They have no problem in the least bit taking the hardest route, thickest and the longest way around. They are like a cat in more ways than one may think. Craig O'Gorman was right with his teachings. Especially when they are hungry and in hunt mode. Cat trap for yotes in the hard of the winter. I have learned much more than this by following them in the snow. It has made me scratch my head and rethinking for next years set up to catch even more yotes. Have also learned how they hunt when packing. Oh boy.......................I am so fired up for next season to get here! :shock: :wink:


This is a excellent answer, and observation.. Let any animal teach you, and what I mean by this is follow his tracks, not for 50 yards or 100. Follow them for a mile it is amazing what they do and where they go.. Now I know if you wanna catch numbers you can't be walking miles apron miles to check sets.. But that is not what iam trying to explain.. The way to catch more is to figure out Locations! And this is part of pre season scouting, which should start when your season ends..
Flat tail I never trapped in the depths of snow you are talking about, but I would see them in time wanting to use your skidoo trail for any easy route.. I would make some sets right off your trail and see how it goes, if you are worried about your tracks, you could then sit on your machine and brush them away..

I have done this for the last couple of years, but just this last week I took the time to follow a pack for two miles in the snow and it blew me away at what I was seeing. They were in hunt mode all the way. It takes some time to do it in a days time and this old man was tired. Well worth the effort and money made in the future. As far as I could tell it was a pack of about 8 dogs. I had 9 sets that was passed up. Not a single catch. Some were worked, but none committed. Have caught many yotes on that same line this year, but had more sets on it at the time.

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A FOOL NEVER SEES THE ONE HE MAKES. (Harold Warp)


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 12:41 
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Here's my two cents:

The fox up here in the woods (as opposed to farmland fox) do react to human sign. In snow deeper than 6 inches I use a drag to drag out my tracks. A canine will actually follow your drag line. If the snow gets about knee deep, I switch to snow shoes. Again, the canines follow my track. In snow less than 6 inches I do not worry about my tracks or I try to hide them by stepping in places that hide them, but I don't worry about one or two tracks too much. If you want to set your mind at ease over the one set you have, just tie a piece of firewood to a rope and drag it to and past the set 20 feet or so, then just turn about and drag your way back to the truck. Make sure you drag it over your tracks in and brush out any other tracks around the set, so there is only the set and a drag trail going by it. Hope that helps some.

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